FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) - After the Williamson School Board meeting on Tuesday, a video shows parents heckling each other.

The Williamson County Schools board voted 7 - 3 to reinstate masks for elementary schools. Williamson County Schools brought back their mask mandate after a vote at a heated board meeting that lasted four hours.

Some school board members said it would be more detrimental for students to be sent home, isolated, and learning virtually rather than be in school with their peers wearing masks.

In one of the videos posted on social media, parents against the new mask mandate are seen threatening parents in support of masks. But inside the meeting there was also a lack of decorum. One man in scrubs was escorted out by Williamson County Sheriff’s Department deputies.

“It was hard to fathom,” Dr. Meredith Duke, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and mother of four kids at Williamson County schools, said. “I was wearing a white coat and a mask. I think it was very clear what I was supporting.”

Dr. Duke said she, along with her 15-year-old son, was escorted out by two sheriff’s deputies and a friend, but for a different reason: they feared for her safety.

“There were people screaming and threatening me, and I just couldn’t believe it,” Dr. Duke recalls.

A video obtained from Twitter shows a deputy begs parents to remain peaceful outside in the parking lot.

Parents speak out in parking lot after heated Williamson County Schools meeting on mask mandate. 

“We are here for everybody’s safety,” he says. “We are here for y’all as much as we are here for everybody else. Ok, we are away from our families, some of us are on a 17 almost 18-hour day, and that’s me.”

Dr. Duke said one of her four kids is 11 years old. He can’t get vaccinated, and there is no mask requirement for his age group. She says she wants to see more done.

Superintendent Jason Golden said last week that masks would be encouraged and recommended but not required. Now, the new requirement begins this Thursday after last night’s change.

WCS Executive Director of Communications Carol Birdsong released a statement about the meeting.

On Sept. 20, the school board said they will reassess whether the mandate will stay in place for elementary schools. Student can have a medical or religious exemption. Teachers can also remove their mask if they are at least six feet away from another person.

 

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